Jeb Bush is carrying his crusade against Donald Trump to the doorstep of the Republican convention
Bush also actively floated supporting the Libertarian ticket in the fall
Jeb Bush is carrying his crusade against Donald Trump to the doorstep of the Republican convention, saying that he is not the future of the Republican Party even as it prepares to nominate him.
Bush, once seen as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, remains one of the most prominent anti-Trump holdouts in the GOP. In an op-ed for The Washington Post published Friday, Bush acknowledged that Trump had capitalized on legitimate frustrations with American politics.
“They have given rise to the success of a candidate who continues to grotesquely manipulate the deeply felt anger of many Americans,” Bush wrote, saying the nominee harkened back to an 1850s political party. “Trump’s abrasive, Know Nothing-like nativist rhetoric has blocked out sober discourse about how to tackle America’s big challenges.”
Bush’s op-ed continues his vehement opposition to Trump. During the primaries, he and Trump regularly traded shots on the campaign trail, with the real estate mogul memorably labeling him “low-energy.” After Bush dropped out following the South Carolina primary, he vowed that he would not vote for Trump and does not plan to attend the Republican National Convention.
Later Friday, he offered a backhanded compliment of Trump’s decision to choose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate, tweeting, “Mike Pence is a good man. He will add value to the ticket.”
In his op-ed, the former Florida governor implored Republicans to protect their control of Congress, and called on the party to “reintroduce civility, ideas and optimism back into politics. Let’s find ways to campaign and govern inclusively. Let’s find ways to ease the angst and fear of people, without cynically feeding it.”
Bush, a lifelong Republican from a family that produced two Republican presidents, also floated the idea of supporting the Libertarian ticket in the fall.
“I haven’t decided how I’ll vote in November – whether I’ll support the Libertarian ticket or write in a candidate – but I do know there are a lot of things Republicans can do in the coming months to lay the groundwork for rebuilding our party and the foundation for a true conservative renewal in our country.”
Bush isn’t the first anti-Trump Republican to suggest that he might vote Libertarian this fall. Last month, 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney also said he would consider voting for the Libertarian ticket, though he noted he had policy differences with them.
The Republican National Convention begins Monday in Cleveland.